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Thread: Suggestions or Ideas for Childrens Career Technology Fair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Dothan, Alabama
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    Default Suggestions or Ideas for Childrens Career Technology Fair

    We were invited to have a booth at an annual Career Technology Fair for 8th grade students.
    They want to give students an opportunity to see technology, that they most likely have never
    seen before. They want us to set up a booth and allow a few selected students to have hands-on
    experience with the electronics and software that controls our show. I have Renard
    SS boards and a friend who lives down the street in our neighborhood has a couple of Falcon
    controllers that we are going to set up in small scale. I run only led light strings and my friend runs
    pixels in his show.
    We are hoping to allow some of the students to be able to create a simple sequence and then execute
    it so they can visually see the outcome.
    Any suggestions on activities or ideas we can present to the groups that come through would be greatly
    appreciated. We would have 5 to 10 minutes with each group. We were told to expect around 4000 students
    to come though over the two day event. We are excited to show the world of Blinky-flashy to some
    young minds and hopefully get them interested!! Here is a link to the event so anyone interested can see
    what it is about.

  2. Likes Wayne J liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Ashburn, VA
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    Default Re: Suggestions or Ideas for Childrens Career Technology Fair

    We have attended a few of these types of events for Girl Scouts and various school ages.
    I think these events are incredibly difficult to do well but even one that is not done well can inspire someone.

    The biggest challenge is the time allotment per group. 10 minutes may seem like a lot of time but....
    10 unfocused minutes is not enough to get someone from "walk-up" to "doing something" in xLights.
    When the events were less crowded, there was more time to spend hands-on.

    At the events we attended, the presenters have about 10-20 seconds to catch attention before the walk-ups get bored. Worse is that when there is someone with more interest and a longer attention span, more walk-ups appear and disrupt whatever you have started with the focused individual.

    Have a video running of some the really spectacular displays (maybe drone footage) and explain it all starts small.
    Have a couple prebuilt props. One pixel oriented, the other AC oriented. The props depend on the amount of room you have.
    A pixel light tunnel can be really cool to walk through. Maybe arrange it as the entrance to the event.
    For AC, build a stick figure with multiple arm and leg positions and faces. Assign each arm/leg segment as a prop. You can drop simple on/off on the timing grid to animate the figure.
    Have xLights (or other sequencer of choice) running and configured for the props. Have walk-ups drop effects of the props to see what happens.
    It's best to have multiple setups so more than one person can be active at once.

    If you have extended time with selected individuals prior to the event, they could define a small show of their own.

  4. Likes Dkelly0802 liked this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: Suggestions or Ideas for Childrens Career Technology Fair

    How about just sticking to the fundamentals:

    This is a pixel. It actually has three LEDs in it, and by mixing these three colors, we can create any color we want. Demonstrate how lights combines to form colors (and how this differs from mixing pigment colors).

    This is a computer chip that controls all three LEDs and can also communicate with all the other pixels, allowing us to create these shows of 1,000s of lights rapidly changing to 1,000s of colors.

  6. Likes Dkelly0802 liked this post


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